It’s 2010

Well all I can say is I hope that 2010 is a better year for me than 2009 was. Fingers crossed, right? I spent New Year’s Eve and the subsequent days with my Granny at her house in the foothills and if nothing else Gram and I are ambitious cooks when we get together. This weekends menu had some wonderful and completely new to us recipes. (A few weeks ago we made some of my all time favorites!) What was on the menu this weekend, you ask, well let me share. We made Sausage Bolognese with linguine, coconut shrimp with mango sauce (it should have been fiery mango sauce but I tempered that for Gram) and tomorrow we are going to attempt buttermilk fried chicken with sour cream mashed potatoes. With two of these recipes down I will say this about them, “Holy yumminess!!” I am gonna put the two recipes we have tried on here and I will do another post tomorrow with the results of the chicken. I might even take a few snapshots of the progress of everything, ya know, to be technical. LOL, so onward and upward!

Sausage Bolognese with Linguine

Makes 8 servings

3 medium carrots, peeled and coursely chopped
2 ribs of celery, coursely chopped
1 lg onion, coursely chopped
1 T oil
1 20 oz package of sweet italian sausage, (we used Johnsonville and it was beef) casings removed
3/4 c dry white wine
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
3/4 c milk
1 box linguine
parmesan (optional but I strongly suggest)

Pulse carrots, celery, and onions in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over mediun-high heat. Add vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Add wine; bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain tomatoes reserving liquid. Add tomatoes to the food processor and pulse till finely chopped. Add tomatoes and their liquid to the skillet and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in milk and cook another 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package in salted boiling water. Serve sauce over pasta and top with parmesan, if desired.

A few suggestions…
1. The sausage if you don’t pay close attention will make huge chunks and I tried my best to break them up and I still felt they were too big.
2. There is not a whole lot of spice in this. It has a wonderful flavor but I added fresh cracked black pepper and salt. It could have also done with some garlic, but that’s just me!
3. We used 1% milk, a whole milk would have made it creamier or to be really decadent you could use heavy cream or half and half.
4. We also didn’t use a whole package of linguine, obviously!

Hope you try it and love it, we certainly did!

Coconut Shrimp with Fiery Mango Sauce

Serves 4

Sauce:

1 t of oil
2/3 c chopped onion
1/2 t fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 12 oz can of mango nectar
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
1/8 t salt

Shrimp:
1 lb shrimp
1/2 c flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 c panko
1/3 c corn starch
3 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/2 t salt
3 T oil
Cooking spray

To prepare sauce, heat oil in small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add nectar and pepper; bring to boil. Cook 10 minutes or until it is reduced to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat and cool slightly about 10 minutes. Process in a blender until smooth, add juice and salt and refrigerate.

To prepare shrimp, peel and devein shrimp , leaving tails intact. Place coconut in food processor and pulse till finely chopped; add panko and pulse to combine. Place coconut mixture in a shallow dish. Place corn starch in another shallow dish. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Sprinkle shrimp evenly with salt. Working with one shrimp at a time dredge in corn starch, shaking off excess. Dip in egg white, dredge in coconut mixture. Heat large skillet, add a few teaspoons of oil to the pan; swirl to coat bottom.  Add half of the shrimp to pan, coat tops of the shrimp with cooking spray. Cook about 2 minutes per side or until the coconut turns golden brown. repeat process for remaining shrimp. Serve with mango sauce.

A few suggestions…

1. I couldn’t find a scotch bonnet pepper. We used an Anaheim and I kept it pretty light cause Gram doesn’t like things too spicy but I realized I could have used quite a bit more since it was not spicy at all.
2. We used prawns and frankly I would not go with a regular sized shrimp for this recipe as it would not really hold up against the thick coconut breading. The prawns were meaty and so tender and delicious! Oh and these were also deveined, as most you buy these days are, so they were plit and so easy to that the shells off of!
3. The cooking spray was not enough to make them gold up as the first side did so I added a little bit more oil when I flipped them.
4. Wipe the pan out after the first batch is done because the coconut with burn. Yuck to burnt coconut!

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